#4 – Krokodil
Krokodil is a street name for a homemade heroin substitute called desomorphine. It’s made on the street using eye drops that contain codeine and an assortment of common chemicals including industrial cleaner, lighter fluid, and sometimes gasoline.
The opioid epidemic isn’t a problem exclusive to the U.S. Russia has more heroin users than any other country and, in the more desolate cities of Siberia, heroin might be hard to find. When heroin becomes too expensive to maintain an addiction, desperate times call for desperate measures. Users turn to a more volatile alternative, which places krokodil squarely on the list of the world’s deadliest drugs.
What Makes it Deadly?
Users who start taking krokodil rarely live longer than a few more years. Desomorphine produced on the streets with dangerous chemicals is hardly pure. Toxic substances are left in the mixture and lead to a host of severe health problems. The name krokodil (Russian for crocodile) comes from the fact that the drug can cause gangrene, abscesses, and flesh rotting to the bone. The scaly, peeling skin resembles the skin of a crocodile. After continued use, the flesh, veins, and organs of a krokodil user begin to fail, eventually leading to medical complications and death.
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